In a major development, the Suez Canal Authority has reduced the compensation amount for the Ever Given ship blockage. The compensation has now gone down to 600$ million from 916$ million which had been asked earlier.
The announcement for reducing the compensation amount comes at a time when a local court in Egypt upheld the SCA’s decision to detain the ship’s crew. The next hearing of the case is due next week.
The SCA Chairperson Admiral Osama Rabie had confirmed this when he spoke on a local television channel talk show. The ship will be kept in the Great Bitter Lakes till the Japanese ship owner pays the compensation. The SCA has also suggested payments terms for compensation. However, the owners haven’t responded to it yet.
Ever Given had run aground in the Suez Canal on March 23rd and had been lodged there for nearly a week, halting the global maritime traffic until it was refloated on March 29th. Since then, it has been kept at the Greater Bitter Lakes for investigation, including crew interrogation and analysis of the black box.
Later, the SCA had taken the crew and the ship for ransom, demanding compensation of 916$ million as salvage cost and transit revenue loss from the Japanese shipping company Shoei Kisen Kaisha and the Taiwanese carrier Evergreen
Evergreen confirmed this in a statement issued on April 14th, where they had said that the compensation amount included a loss of reputation cost of 300$ million.
Both the Japanese owner and the insurer of the vessel UK P&I Club had deemed the compensation as “extraordinary” which couldn’t be validated by any data or investigation reports. Hence, they have refused to pay it
The owners had appealed against the decision of arresting the ship and the crew, which was rejected last week.
Meanwhile, Naguib Sawiris an Egyptian business tycoon has tweeted in support of the shipping company, saying that the compensation demanded was unrealistic and exaggerated, and will harm Egypt’s national interest.